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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2008
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

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Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio - Facts

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

Born: 13 April 1940, Nice, France

Residence at the time of the award: France, Mauritius

Prize motivation: "author of new departures, poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization"

Field: prose

Language: French

Prize share: 1/1

Life

Jean-Marie Gustave le Clézio was born in Nice, France, but grew up on Mauritius, where his relatives had worked as bankers for generations. His father, a doctor, was of British heritage, and his family was bilingual. Le Clézio lived among indigenous peoples in Panama for several years during the 1970s; an experience that fundamentally changed his view of life, art, and people. He has also worked at several universities in different parts of the world. He and his wife, Jemia, divide their time between Nice, Mauritius, and Albuquerque, USA.

Work

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio's literary career highlights different cultures in different times and challenges Western civilization's dominance. He questions modern society's materialistic superficiality, which chokes what is genuine in people's relationships with others, with nature, and with the past. Le Clézio, who writes in prose, has published over 40 works since his 1963 début. His major breakthrough came with 'Desert' in 1980. With its flowing prose, 'Desert' stands in contrast to his earlier works' more experimental style.

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